object & totem

julianne ahn

These beautiful ceramic bottles by Object & Totem are now available in the Wiksten shop.

Julianne Ahn is the maker behind Object & Totem, and she was kind enough to chat with us about her creative background and what she loves most about ceramics:

"As a textiles student, I loved to draw and since then I've gone from making collages, embroidery and stencils to using natural materials like sea grass and found pieces of wood.  Producing objects and accessories began as an extension of my studio in 2010.  I suppose I found myself at the height of creative uncertainty that clay was the perfect medium for learning something new about the way I work. 

In a lot of ways, it taught me to slow things down, even when I thought things couldn't be any slower.   Instead of always looking towards the end goal of having quantity, I can sort of now enjoy the thoughts that circle my head during times, for example, when I clean my tools or bike to studio.  There is a satisfaction in these moments that when I see something I made, I can look back to that entire week or so and see it transcribed in a physical object.  

The most valuable lesson I've learned so far is that clay has memory.  For example, if you accidentally dent a bowl and try to fix it, it'll eventually want to return to being dented as if it had a life of its own.  I can't tell you how many times I've tried to make something and have it turned into something else.  (half my vessels were probably failed attempts at making cups!)  

I don't have a favorite piece I've made yet, but I do own a vintage Japanese ceramic piece purchased in Adamstown, Pennsylvania a few years ago.  It's a two piece container with an allover hand painted floral design in rich blues and browns.  I think it was made in the early 20th century and I'm not sure what it was used for, but I like that I can feel parts where the makers fingers would have rested and I like to imagine his or her hands are similar to the size of my own.  It's not perfectly painted and probably doesn't have any resell value, but I find the charm through its marked history." 

Ahn's website can be found here, and she sells some awesome necklaces in her Etsy store here.


stephanie renee said...

Love her stuff and your shop is so beautiful Jenny! Sad I missed out on the dress, but happy I snagged one of these!

Marginamia said...

Wonderful interview! I love the part about seeing her week transcribed in an object. And that clay will return to being dented--so neat!

Janelle said...

The bottles are really charming. And her jewelry is sweet too!

Pretty Mommy said...

I think Julie is amazing!! Not only is she uber talented but super nice to boot...great interview and your shop looks gorgeous!!

jennifer said...

just snagged a bottle, yay!

Meg said...

I love these ceramic bottles, great interview. I'm so bummed they sold out so fast!